Interesting thread, Finn.
The key to my reply probably lies in my reaction to one sentence you wrote:
America can suffer a severe economic cataclysm and rise back up, but there will be lots of people who don't rise with it.
I think, Finn, that the cataclysm will be much more wide-spread than most are willing to acknowledge right now. The financial condition on planet Earth is like a super-volcano set to erupt.
Neither capitalism nor socialism as now constituted is prepared to handle what is about to overtake us...nor will an amalgam of the two be any better.
For the first time...the cry of "the technology is killing us" will not be an example of "crying wolf"...or shouting "the sky is falling."
The value of human labor is almost a thing of the past...and if it is not yet to that point, during the years you mentioned here, it will be.
A new, totally different economic system will have to replace it...or the coming financial crisis will some day be remembered as Armageddon.